Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and the Sphere: The Year in Live Music

Three years after the pandemic brought live music to a halt, the touring business is thriving: 2023 brought in record revenue — over $9 billion — thanks in part to major outings by Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, and in part to increased prices across the board. Live shows are also becoming more ambitious in scale and filigree, underscoring how big concerts are becoming experiential luxury goods.

But even though the live music space is thriving, there is still persistent growling about Ticketmaster and its fee structure, and also about rising prices in general. Social media amplified both the thrills of some live events, and also confusion over cratering ticket process for others, like some recent dates on Travis Scott’s tour.

On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about why this year was such an impressive one for the touring business, what lessons established acts are learning from younger arena and stadium stars, and whether the continued pressure on ticket price is sustainable in the long run.

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